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General News · 22nd August 2017
Ashley Zarbatany
Updated Aug 23 - Dear Islanders,

More cuts by Cortes Community Forest Co-op are being planned, this time around Carrington's Children's Forest!

If this logging were being proposed by Island Timberlands there would immediately be HUGE resistance. Instead we've seen that the Community Forest is able to get away with industrial logging practices on Cortes without facing organized resistance because of who they are and what they claim to represent.

We've seen them get away with environmental destruction in Larson's Meadow, destroying an important waterway system. We've watched them destroy the Squirrel Cove forests, disregarding important nesting grounds and taking far more than they said they would or financially makes sense given the extremely low cost of export logs.

Now they want us to sit back and watch them cut around Carrington's Children's Forest?

We can't sit back any longer and let them get away with unsound logging practices in our community.

It is time that we start asking ourselves (AND THEM) what impact these logging practices are actually having on the ecosystems they are disrupting and our community as a whole:

What is the reality of having a "community" logging business that is given a blank slate to log in ways we would otherwise oppose if we weren't enchanted by the notions of community the business claims to have?

What ARE they doing for the community as a whole?

What benefit does their existence bring to the people of this island?

Who exactly is benefiting from this logging? How many Islanders are profiting from this? Where do the profits go?

What is their business plan? Where do they plan on selling the logs? Why have they cut down unnecessary trees in the past that end up getting exported to Asia?

Doesn't it make more sense to sell the logs at a higher price over a longer period of time than to join the already flooded competitive market of export logs?

Do they plan on continuing the practice of cutting down more than they can sell locally?

Why should the Cortes Community allow this logging to happen at all?

It is time that we organize ourselves effectively against unsustainable resource exploitation industries in our community and region. We have a responsibility to protect and responsibly manage the resources that are left so that our children and future generations will be able to live lives as ecologically abundant as ours.

We need to act before we lose yet another beloved forest.

We don't want Carrington to be just another Larson's Meadow or Squirrel Cove disaster.

I'll be at the meeting today at 4 and I hope to see you there!

The first tour by the community forest of their proposed logging happened at the Carrington Bay entrance off Coulter Bay Rd at 4 pm Aug 22.

If you didn't make it, there will be another meeting on Sunday, August 27th at 10 am.


Update, August 23rd: Some of these and other questions were answered at yesterday's meeting, however, many questions still remain unanswered and many new questions have arisen as a result of the meeting.

At the meeting we found out that they are not planning on logging the area located in the map attached to this article until some unspecified date in the future. At this time they are only planning on building an access road so that they can log the area in the future. And they hope to start building the road by the end of September.

They showed us the rocky terrain where the logging road is proposed to go. While there seemed to be some really beautiful large trees (including the largest white pines I've ever seen), most of the trees around the access road were of little timber value. We were informed they didn't plan on logging that immediate area, rather using the road to access further stands (presumably the green areas on the attached map). Many people present remarked that the road would be expensive, given the terrain, and logging would need to happen to justify the costs of the road. Many wondered why the original proposed access route was not pursued.

The most evident thing that came out of the meeting is that the Community Forest is asking for the community to support the building of this road, without giving us the specifics of their logging plans for the area. We were both told that they do not have a plan to share with us at the moment regarding how many trees they plan on logging or their whereabouts or when, and then that they definitely do have a plan that they've been working on for over six months.

I hope that if they definitely do have a plan they will figure out a time to share it with us before they try to start building the road. The community deserves to know and we cannot make an informed choice to give support or withhold it until we know their intentions.

After all, the road is always the first step in a logging plan and if the general public doesn't like what the overall logging plan is we'll have a lot harder of a time opposing it after the road is built.

I would encourage everyone to ask the Community Forest for answers to any questions and I would encourage the Community Forest to publicly address these questions so that the wider Cortes community can be better informed about what their intentions are, why they've done the things they've done in the past, and whether they are going to change their practices so that we don't see Carrington turn into another Squirrel Cove or Larsen's Meadow.

Community ?
Comment by Walker Evans on 25th August 2017
Just because a small group of self interested people use the word 'community' in their name doesn't mean they speak for or represent the community. If raw logs are shipped off Cortes then they're no better than IT.
Aboriginal rights to Annual Free Use on Crown Forest
Comment by Kenny Hanuse on 24th August 2017
My Issue in and around the Cortes Community Forest Co-op is how they are skirting around my request to deal with the Aboriginal Right to Free Use on Crown Land and how they planned to address the issue before and during their negotiations with the Ministry of Forests for the Community Forest Tenure. Three times I have made the request and Three times I have not received an answer. I have not and am not giving up my aboriginal right to Free Use on Crown Land before during or after The Cortes Forestry Co-op took over the Crown Land under the Community Forest Initiative.
To care a ton
Comment by Sujon on 24th August 2017
Reading the financial on larsons meadow, I have to wonder after everything was payed off, was the 33k profit worth it?
How do we as a society value our forests/wilderness/multi species reality? How do we value and measure the air /water quality, multispecies diversity and biospheric interdependancies?
How, what and who as a community gain by maintaining these cutting quotas?
How is the impact measured besides monetary prospects?
Is Cortes community forestry ironic?
Whose mandate are we serving?
If Cortes community forest does not proceed with these quotas, is there an external pressure?
If my job is dependant on tourism that is based on an intact wilderness, then recent logging practices such as squirrel Cove and larsons meadow threaten my livelihood. So yes, I Question the logging encroachment in carrington bay necessary.
And Thank you Ashly for bring the questions home.
Sj